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Of course I didn't notice this before now. But apparently my mind's process goes like this:

(Some kind of substantive thought having to do with the task on hand)
Is the back door open for the dog?
(Something about food)
There is a dog.
(Where was I? Oh, task on hand. Repeat substantive thought and add something to it)
Dog exists.
Is the dog outside?
(Something about the state of my ailments)
Dog exists.
(something about food)
Should take the dog for a walk.
(something about the substantive thought. Oh, right, it is the task on hand)
Dog exists.
(something about music, or a book I read when I was nine)
Dog exists.
(what was the task on hand? oh, right MAJOR REVELATION ABOUT THE TASK ON HAND)
Dog has a need.
(what was that last thought? Oh, right, something about food MAJOR REVELATION REPEATED)
Dog

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Except that today, of course, every Dog thought is followed by "Dog does not exist."
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This morning early I woke to a strange scraping sound: it was Truffle being unable to stand, slipping on the floor. I've been sitting with her for several hours since then. She did get up and walk a few feet to where I keep her water--except I had her water over here because she couldn't go to it. I can't carry her downstairs. Not because she is too heavy--she weighs 54 pounds or so--but because with the arthritis I need at leadt three limbs to go downstairs, which does not leave enough limbs to carry her. I have an appointment for her this evening at the vet's, if she lives till then.   I'll get Keith or Zack to help me get her there.

Yesterday she had a pretty good day. I had my stint at the UNA store, and as I was getting ready to go she informed me that she would simply die of sadness if I didn't change my plans, so I took her. That went about like I thought it would--she barked when people came by, but she was generally well behaved other than that, not barking at me to get her out of there because she was bored. It also entailed a brief walk both ways (I drove to a parking lot closer to the place because lately she hasn't been up for half-miles at a time), Then she was chipper, and I left her in the evening for Emma's borthday dinner. I told Emma I thought Truffle was learning a new trick: act like she'd dying if she doesn't like what I am doing. But today she's really dying. She woke in the night and listened to the night bird noises, and spent a little time on my bed (this upstairs bed is much closer to the floor than the downstairs one but she hasn't been much of a jumper lately for obvious reasons).

Not going to wax philosophical this time. She's been the Dog of Joy,  and my closest companion during my time of grief. But she is a dog, and has a dog's lifespan, and this is what we get.                                                                                                          
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Truffle hasn't eaten anything today. She has drunk water and she has peed, and walked up and down the stairs a few times to stick close to me, but she is unsteady on her feet and very quiet. She wanted to be outside some of the day but she only went without me a couple of times. I went out with her and she just stood quietly, intensely looking around and sniffing the air.

I think I know how this goes. But she doesn't seem actually uncomfortable at the moment, so I'm treating it as an illness for now. She's on something to prevent bleeding, as well as her Addison's medicines. her Tramadol for arthritis, and an anti-diarrheal (she had the runs Friday night but not last night). I was working on settling into the upstairs bedroom. but I knocked it off so I could settle in a place that is easier for her-- me on the couch and her on the floor bed next to me.

I  don't want to belabor the thought, but it does occur to me that I should be taking notes for when it is my turn.
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Today is the anniversary of both my children's births. They are not twins: theyare eight years apart. Today one of them is in the UK, thousands of miles away. He said he worked, and afterwards and his wife celebrated by taking a walk along Butthole Lane until it turned into fields of some kind of brassica. The other lives close, but she worked today too. She said she celebrated by buying a coyote skull.

I'm spending the day with my ailing, possibly-dying dog, and also moving into my proper bedroom at the top of my house, where I have a view of green layered on green, and the last of the Belle of Portugal roses wilting in the apple tree.

The dog might be okay, but if she isn't, well, she had many years more than we thought she might, and she's been my true companion, and I don't want to go too far in this direction yet, until I know whether she's recovering from this.
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I took Truffle took Antonelli Pond, which is an old-time irrigation pond which now belongs to the University or the City, I forget which, and functions as a public park. It has a memorial fishing deck, a portapotty, and a few benches and picnic tables and garbage cans. We like it. It's low-stress but fun.

But she didn't want to be there. This wasn't an attack of the Dread, it was "yow! there's something interesting over there!" and she led me in the direction og the tiny bleating and goaty smell-- down the road to the open field next to Long Marine Lab (also University property). So okay, we went to see the goats.

Actually she felt that she was close enough at say ten meters or so. So we stood there and watched the goats, and she made it quite clear that sniffing the goats from that distance was entirely entertaining enough for her, and eventually she stgarted trotting away--down the side of the field, towards the beautiful cliff, and I said okay, we'll do that.

But then we got to the first scrap of shade and she positioned herself there and made it clear that she had gone far enough in any direction, shade is really where i is at for old dogs. And I said, okay, we can stay here for a while but eventually we have to go somewhere. And after a few minutes I decided it was time, and we would walk back to the car. But no. Old dogs still wanted to explore a bit of Antonelli pond, the bit we never get around to going to. Then I made the executive decision that old dogs need water and old ladies want to go to the plant nursery, and anway we came.

She likes the plant nursery. It smells interesting, and we go to the one where dogs are allowed to ramble. She rambles around till she finds a nice coll place and then lies down and waits for the staff to give her treats.

I got seeds for flowers and herbs, and also I got a blue salvie and forget me nots, and I also got a new hose, some fgloves, and a new hose tip thing. I have hired a friend to help me in the yard, which makes me work more. It's looking pretty good.
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I told myself that I would return to not-Poland in March, and I have, armed with the realization that there are several stories in there and I need tell only one or two of them in any particular volume.

Also: this morning I pitched an idea to a website for a "personal essay," which I think is a pretty likely subject. I am going to try to do more of those.

Truffle update: she had her 2nd followup visit Monday and the vet said her sutures look very good, and she could go back to eating normal food. But even though her appetite has returned in full glory, Truffle is amazingly picky just now, and will not eat any form of commercial dog food: for this reason, Dr. Hoban said "Go to the drive through and get her a plain hamburger with nothing on it but the bun." And so I did. And then I stopped at the grocery store for ground beef and potatoes, which she also recommended, and while I was there I got her fried chicken thighs (she has lost a lot of weight over the last year and a couple-few pounds the last week or two, and I think her refusal to eat anything but boiled chicken breast has given her a diet that is too lean, so that's why). Of course I fed those to her in little pieces to avoid bones and globs of fat. When we got home she explained to me that she was still quite hungry and no, boiled chicken breast was no longer very interesting, couldn't she have more more more of the rich stuff? With some trepidation I cooked her some of the beef and potatoes and she inhaled it and went to sleep, making the air around us quite fragrant.

Needless to say, I'm not indulging her to that degree every day. Particulary since I spent a half hour yeasterday cleaning up the evidence that it was too much. She got tuna and potato for last night's dinner and this morning's breakfast largely because yesterday she found my stash of cooked beef and potato when I was cleaning the refrigerator so there was nothing ready (the rest of the beef was frozen because I thought I had made enough to last for a bit). I would have let her have no supper because she had eaten so much but her argument that she was verrrrry hungry and neeeeded mooore fooood was quite compelling. This morning she appears to have decided that tuna is not delicious enough, or that she is not hungry enough.

Of course it is in my mind that when an animal is ready to die they generally stop eating but this is clearly not that. She'll still come running for a liver treat and she represents quite effectively that she is hungry: she's just picky.  She's always had her opinions about food, this is just more defined.

Lest you think I do nothing but dog stuff, I'm also working on the garden. I have hired a friend (Zack's ex actually) to help me with the stuff that requires more leg stability than I currently have (because we all know how well "I'll do that after I recover from surgery" works out), like pruning and so forth, and while she's here, I weed and plant and so on. I planted kale and radishes last week, and this week I planted some irises that somebody was giving away a while ago. I don't know what kind they are but I have rarely met an iris I didn't like. When I asked the person what kind of iris they were she said "They're real!" and also that they were blue and brown (by which I think she means maroon, but we'll see). I asked her if the petals looked like they had caterpillars on them and she didn't know what I was talking about. The leaves are kind of short and stocky for irises, and the corms are big and stout. So altogether it's a mystery.

Phenological observations: the Satsuma plum tree is in full bloom and the top half of it has leaves burst out but not completely unfurled. The Italian prune has buds only, but it is yet an infant.

A few days ago I made a cake of lemons, walnut flour and poppy seeds. I may not do the poppy seed part again: I have so much trouble getting them out of my teeth. I cut the cake into witsy-bitsy pieces, which is enjoyable, but now I am finding that my favorite way to eat them is with heavy cream poured on them. Not frosting: not sweetened whipped cream: just plain, unsweetened heavy cream.

Last night's musical discovery is "Lemonade Joe" (Limonadovy Joe), a Czech movie from 1964 which is an affectionate parody of the American Western. Cinematically it is interesting in the way it tints the film to match the content of the scene (mostly yellow--for sunshine, I think--and red for when the barmaid sings, and blue for when the bad guys gather) and the way that it uses deep focus and active cameras at the same time to set up Breughel-esque busy crowd scenes in the saloon and on the street. But musically! I'm actually shocked I have never run into that soundtrack before. Whoever wrote the music had a much more than passing familiarity with the standards of American popular and folk music, and also really, really loved every note of it. There would be just enough of a familiar tune to get your expectations in gear, and the next notes and chords would be totally unexpected and completely, perfectly right.  The exceptions would be the songs sung by the missionary girl: they sound sort of, well, Czech, to me. To add to the hilarity, the title character sings in word-salad English.

Oh, I should add: I owe this discovery to Kip Williams, who tweeted a mention of it in context of discovering that the movie has its own TV Tropes page. In the interest of public service, I am not linking to that: if you have a block of time you can sacrifice to TV Tropes, you can search it yourself.

Alas, the streaming version I was able to find has subtitles in Greek. I believe you can find subtitles in Russian and German also, and Kip has it in English. He says the dialog is priceless, and I believe I will soon discover that for myself. But I can attest to the fact that the movie makes quite as much sense as it needs to if you don't understand the dialog (I got "please," "thank you," "one,two, three," and a few other words. Yay for studying Czech inconsistently off and on for five years!)
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The biopsy of the lump on Truffle's spleen came back positive for a malignancy. Ultrasound had found no other masses, which is why we even did the splenectomy, and Histology says they think that the cancer is growing slowly for its kind.

Nevertheless, Truffle's days are numbered: we don't know what the number is. But as of this moment she is in hospice care: no more surgeries and don't talk to me about chemo, etc. Except apparently non-steroidal anti-inflammatories have a tumor-slowing effect, and she tolerated meloxican when I gave it to her for arthritis, so we'll do that. It's not heroic and it will make her feel better.

Honestly, not much has changed with this revelation. She was already an old dog who might kick the bucket at any time. Now I just have an idea what is most likely to take her out.

She's having a good time right now. She's a sleepy dog, but the sutures don't seem to hurt her except for a short time at night (i.e., how long it takes me to understand she's hurting and get a pill into her, and then how long it takes for the pill to knock her out). Her appetite is approaching normal. She's far enough along that the vet said to give her normal food, but all she wants to eat is chicken, so I guess that, since I am not exactly worrying about the long-term effects of an unbalanced diet, I'll keep giving her that. I've set out a dish of kibble for her to graze on if she gets hungry between the times I've got her chicken prepared, but she is roundly uninterested. I'll throw it out when it has sat long enough and put a fresh bowl out, just in case. But I'm boiling more chicken right now.

So anyway. Kind of sorry I broke my promise not to give her any more surgeries, but on the other hand she's already feeling better than she was just before, so maybe not. Really glad I'm not recovering from surgery myself at this moment.
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Last night as easier because she was farther away from the trauma of surgery and the anesthia had had some time to go away, but I still had to give her vicodin... well, I expect that the next day after surgery I might need some vicodin on top of the basic pain meds to sleep also.

This morning she was ready to go but I was not taking her on any adventures at this point. She has an appetite: not a big one and she still won't eat anything but boiled chicken, but I don't particularly care right now. As long as she eats a little and drinks water, I'm satisfied.

She went in for her checkup and the ver said her sutures were lovely and she looked good, also that her kidney function had returned to normal right after surgery (which means her Addison's is under control again and was only off because of the stress of the hematoma on her spleen). She was terrified at the vet's office and really wanted to leave, but once we did leave she calmed right down. My experience from before is that the PTSD from the surgery lasts a few months.

On another front, I am now paying my friend Cassandra to do my pruning and other such work, and I spend the time she's doing that in working on other garden taks. So that's finally coming together. My plum tree is blooming, as is my almond tree. The Euro plum is not, yet, nor is the apple. Emma's Satsuma mandarin is also blooming. It needs to be moved into a sunnier spot. Everything needs to be fed.

Once we've got a handle on what we've got here, I will look into getting other fruit trees, maybe, though the space for them is smaller than it used to be, because of Zack's house.

On the writing front, I am still struggling with the story of how Elisabeth and Melissa, my lesbian mechanics from A and A Salvage, met up in the first place. It involves a vengeful ghost resident in a Subaru two-seater, but probably nothing else that you imagine with that. The story's kind of kicking me around, but I figure witrh persistence I will pin it.
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Truffle's generally an amiable, cooperate dog, but when she gets a notion, she can be insistent. And vocal.

The vet had told me that Truffle was "pretty vocal" in recovery--that she sounded like a car alarm hat was winding down. That was a new sound, but she does invent new ones sometimes.
long detailed story of our first post-operative night together )

Now it is morning and she's still up here, sleeping soundly. I tried to stay asleep myself but it is not possible. So instead I am going to try to work. My vengeful ghost story has turned into a locked-room mystery and I don't know what to do.
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Last week I took Truffle in because she was lethargic and refusing to eat. She had gone so far as to miss a dose of her fludracortisone, the replacement for natural cortisone that I've been giving her for six or seven years since she was first diagnosed with Addison's disease. ANd that never happens because I understand that the consequence of her not getting the fludracortisone is death.

Dr. Hoban is the best vet I've ever known. I love the way she handles Truffle and the way she talks about things. Anyway she did an xray and showed me that her spleen looked very odd and there was a swirl in her abdomen so she thought she had a hematoma on her spleen that had burst. Or it could be cancer. The question was, should we go on the assumption that it was the spleen? Because the difference is with the hematoma, you remove the spleen and all is well. With cancer... not so much. We discussed the cost of treatment but what really weighed on me was putting Truffle through another surgery when I promised I wouldn't do that to her again. But just before she fell ill this time she was active and cheerful and having a great time. Dr. Hoban said that we could have an ultrasound examination, and that was very good at finding tumors, so I said yes to that. Nothing more was found than the lump on the spleen, and so I said yes, let's do it.

So now I have a dog with a large incision, who is being very vocal about her discomfort. We move every half hour or so. I gave her her necessary meds but she is adamant that she is not ready to eat. She pooped on the deck and I cleaned it up. But I think she will be fine for another couple years.

But this is really the last surgery she will get. I promise.
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I thought Truffle might be ill because she didn't eat her breakfast yesterday and laid around all day sprawled out and barely seeming to breathe, though she went on a long walk with me and gladly ate all the treats I offered her. She wouldn't eat breakfast again today and it occured to me, she's not ill, she's on strike. She doesn't like the beef type of dog food.

I spent a couple of hours vacuuming the couch. Yes, it was that involved. I'm  a slob so sometimes I have to really tackle things. Anyway, she objected to the noise and barked at intervals until at one point she decided if you can't beat them, join them, and she started howling. Later I decided to try vacuuming her, since I've known dogs that liked it. Since she doesn't like the noise and it has a long hose, I positioned it as far away as I could and turned it on while talking to her of other things so she would be willing to judge the situation without preconceptions. Then I vaccuumed her! She kind of liked it! She was shiny and clean afterwards! I don't know if she will let me do it again sometime.

Whatever scented thing my roommate was carrying as she went past, it was heavenly. Coriander seed? I want it. Nope, she says it's attar of roses. But now I want to put coriander seed in my clothes.

And now Truffle's going to get a nice walk!

edit: nope. she wouldn't walk. One of her hind legs was unsteady. She's really old. Well, tomorrow then.
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Thursday six in the morning I leave for the hospital. I'm trying to get the house nice and clean so it will be easy to navigate when I get back. I have borrowed a walker from my sister-in-law, which her mother no longer uses, and I hope to ditch it soon after the surgery.

I've had to stop taking my anti-inflammatory medicine for the time being so that I will have less potential for bleeding. I guess I'm grateful for the natural experiment: yes, I do need it. No, the osteoarthritis is not my ownly problem. There is something in my leg muscles that is kept at bay by meloxicam, and after four days of not having it I am back to hardly being able to walk.  Now, meloxicam is "necessary but not sufficient--" I also had to switch statin drugs and have years of physical therapy to keep the muscle pains at bay. But I didn't know until I quit it temporarily, because I mostly don't have very much pain in the normal course of things. It's function that's demanding the surgery, not pain.

Not directly related to surgery, but related to the things surgery is related to: in my trips to visit Frank and Hana in Prague, I always intended to but never managed to rent a bike. So I thought I would take my bike with me.But after talking it over with Zack, my roommate who was once a professional bike racer in Europe, I've realized that it's even more hassle to disassemble and reassemble a normal bike. He has convinced me to get a folding bike. It looks like I can spend about four hundred dollars and get a nice folder that can be adjusted to my height and can take my weight. I'm leaning towards the Citizen Barcelona. If you have any relevant experience or knowledge, let me know!

The idea would be that I would take it to the UK and other places when I travel, or even throw it in the car when I leave town, just in case. It is so much easier to cover a lot of ground on a bike than on foot. It may even become my primary bike, I don't know.

I still don't know when I'm going to visit Frank and Hana. Hana has gotten the job she wanted too, administering a university program for sustainable manufacturing and recycling, so for now they're doing great. I'd love to go in the second half of March, though it's no longer certain that he has ten days off in the middle as they have been re-doing the rota at frequent intervals. I would also love to be there for Eastercon at the beginning of April, but it may not happen. I have been doing a bit of daydreaming about visiting (Ilocating folk clubs, museums, and so on), though I've mostly been thinking about surgery and trying to make sure I get my February writing done. And playing sims.

Also to prepare for surgery I've been eating liver and the dog thinks her share is not enough.
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I love liverwurst but the store sells only kind of gross kinds now and I get oversalted and icky feeling if I eat it in any quantity, which if I eat it at all, I do, because who else will eat it beforee it goes bad?

I decided to make my own. I have a meat grinder (the kind made out of coarse-grained galvanized cast iron, which you turn with a crank). I read some recipes. I decided I was well enough prepared.

I'm writing down what I did, because I like it, even though it is definitely not liverwurst.

I had one of those containers of frozen beef liver that holds about a pound. I got a pound of ground pork. Those were all the unusual ingredients. I semi-caramelized a large pile of assorted alliums (yellow onion, shallot, and garlic) and grated maybe two teaspoons of fresh horseradish (alright, that's maybe a slighty unusual ingredient), chopped a stack of fresh parsley, thyme, and sage (like to fit into the palm of my not-very-large hand), and ran everything throuh the grinder a couple of times along with three-quarters of a stick of butter (instead of the bacon people keep urging you to use because I do not want to deal with bacon). My grinder has only two plates. I used the finer one and could not get the extremely fine texture that liverwurst is supposed to have, but on the other hand, it was kind of slow going with that plate, or it seemed like it sometimes. Maybe a finer plate would have been a drag to use? Anyway, I did send it all through a few times to try to get it finer and also to mix it a bit better.

When I was sick of that I mixed it up some more and stuck it into a buttered standard loaf pan (I have glass), buttered a piece of grocery bag cut to fit on top of it, set it in a larger pan with about an inch of water, and stuck it into the oven at 350 until I remembered it again maybe two hours later? I forget what temperature it reached, but it was definitely out of the danger range.

It's-- not liverwurst. I guess it's a pate? It tastes nice. Most people would probably salt it. I forgot. It could have used pepper and/or something of the chile/capsicum persuasion (paprika, cayenne, whatever). I forgot my intention to put in ground coriander seed. Maybe it would have tasted more like liverwurst if I had remembered. Now that I think of it, Shichuan pepper would probably make it taste more like liverwurst too.

Even though it isn't as fine-grained as liverwurst and doesn't taste like liverwurst, it is finer than meatloaf and tastes really quite yummy. I will eat it up gone before too long, and this will keep my blood rich and red and abundant before surgery.

Cleaning up is a drudgery, but Truffle was only too glad to help get the remains out of the cutting plate and the receiving bowl and anything else I would give her  and why isn't there more of this delicious stuff why are you holding out on me can't you hear me? The vet had said not to give her bits that had been in contact with alliums, but she's thirteen and she has exhibited no tendency to accumulate the stuff or acquire hemolytic anemia, so I don't feel guilty about a rare treat of the sort. Just no garlic pills like in the old days.

on another front, still no rain, but the earth in my yard is still wet.

edit: the butter was utterly wasted. It melted and ran completey out of the loaf.
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I finished Longbourn.I liked it a lot, though I was kind of dissatisfied with the ending. But I often am. I know some of you people care deeply about spoilers, so suffice it to say that the ending felt a wee bit rushed and forced to me. But the main thing is that here is a richly detailed working class romance where the resolution isn't "take the porotagonist out of the working class." Also, it's a great antidote for the whole (in my opinion) corrupt Regency Romance thing. I think I understand why so many people love that genre, but my response is usually "I hate these people and I want someone to expropriate everything they own and distribute it to the workers," Not exactly conducive to enjoying a lighthearted read. Longbourn is not, by the way, lighthearted.

I also read a chapbook of Karen Joy Fowler's (The Science of Herself)and now I want to call her up. She lives in my town! She actually went to school with the nice fellow, and sweetgly contacted me after he died--she didn't know he lived her until she saw his obituary.

Right this minute, I have no reading agenda, I am editing a thing for submission and I want it done byu next week, so I can do the next thing, etc. I want to get these old things cleaned upo and ready to send away, and then clear the decks so I can go back to not-Poland after surgery.

I finally got a cost estimate on the surgery and it's a relief: I do not have to cancel after all. This is of course a terrible crime against men of property and Congress would like to put a stop to it.

The other good medical news is I rode my bike to physical therapy and back: maybe three miles altogether? I'm not sure. And it was fine, though I expect to wake up tonight with the screamies. I did walk my bike up the one substantial hill, but the physicfal therapist says with my knees, I really, really should. She approved of the venture in general, though.

Yesterday I was thinking it looked like I am in a period where I can have more function or less pain, but not both, and that I seem to have chosen more function for now. Today it looks like I can have somewhat less pain if I persist in  going for more function. That's also reassuring. That's how it was until about a year ago. More exercise relieved pain as well as providing more function, bu just not right away.

Oh, and on another front: aside from the rain giving up on us and retreating, we do seem to have entered early spring, by the particular flowers blooming (quince) and the busy behavior of the birds. Also, I can tell there is more light, and both dog and I are more ambitious. She and I went for a long walk at the Yacht Harbor yesterday. She had some trouble coming back up the stairs, barely enough to call trouble.
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Today my dog is thirteen. We celebrated it by going to the dog park in the rain. No other dogs, but she enjoyed rolling in the mud, and being towelled off when we came home. Later she decided I had not towelled her off enough so she carried the towel around and rubbed herself on it.

On another front, it's raining!

I wonder if I'll ever get used to it again.
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1. Tonight's favorite: Taraf de Haïdouks, Romani-Romanian band. I shouldn't have to tell you not to read the comments, but of course I did, and now I know thatr there are people who are unable to parse "Romani-Romanian" in four languages, and also that for some people the important thing about this music is that Romanians should actgually be called Vlachs (not actually true unless you are a loony, but why else would you be talking about this in youtube comments?).

2. Also, now I want to write a story in this setting, which is an urban neighborhood made of facades only, for police training exercises.

3. I just saw some people who said that a lifetime in the abolition movement means nothing because Susan B. Anthony said something stupid to Frederick Douglass once. This actually happened weeks ago, but I just saw it.

4. Also I saw somebody lie about what I said in the comments of one of James Nicoll's posts, but I'm not going to go say anything more because I don't want to argue with this person, who is so over the top in their second- and third- hand accusations that I don't put anything past them.  Then I saw in their comments that this person has at least one friend who thinks they are consistently bullshit-free.

5. I wonder how many stories I have to sell before it stops being an event of amazement and wonder that I have to tell all my friends about and starts being a routine part of my life?

6. Truffle likes having another dog in the house so much I wonder...
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Not to get Sims 2, I already have that, but to play Sim City in offline mode.

But here's the thing: Origin is foreverf telling me that it is going offline now. Whatever I am doing. I have gone in and tinkered with the settings to tell it not to go online unless i tell it to but it does this anyway. A couple of times it barged into my (non-Origin) Sims 2 game to tell me that I appeared to be trying to play on two computers at once and I couldn't do that so it was going offline now. That was annoying because whenever the game is minimized it takes a while to get back up again. And yet the sims go on doing whatever while I can't see them or control them, with sometimes hilarious results.

The reason I bring this up is that I have been intermittently trying to search out hos to get i to stop doing this and I can't find the question online, let alone the answer. Nobody ever seems to want to know how to stop Origin from going online when they don't need it to be up. They only complain, apparently quite frequently and at length, that Origin won't go online when they want it to.

SIgh. I do seem to have my own special problems.

On the other hand, I seem to no longer have any trace of sciatica. And also! Phase 1 of North Window Reclamation Project is nearly done -- I have an eat-facing window in the downstairs bedroom (the one I am living in now). There's a couple more dribs and drabs to do to it, but it's inthere and it opens and closes, thus affording that room with Light and Air!

The other phases involve replacing the north-facing window in that room, and the north and west facing windows in the living room, with brand new windows that open and close and have insulating glass. They will be vinyl, because fiberglass and wood are so much more expensive, but it turns out you can so paint vinyl window sashes, you just have to use special paint.

Just because I can, I'm making the east-facing window a bit of a narrow box window, providing the room with a wee bit more light and an awesome wide windowsill for a plant or two.

And the third thing: Truffle has taught herself not to rush into the yard when nighttime vermin thugs approach the house. She just runs into the back room and stands right inside her dog door barking and huffing. I reward this behavior, but truth be told, I didn't teach it to her. I tried when she was younger but she just started actually doing it on her own. Whoi says an old dog won't learn a new trick? They can if they want to.

Trujffle's going to be thirteen in November, hard as that is to believe.
ritaxis: (hat)
Apparently the desktop is now a brick too. There was a power outage this morning -- but 1) the computer was not turned on at the time and 2) it was plugged into an uninterrupted power supply device that's supposed to protect it from surges and 3) the other thungs plugged into it arren't harmed so I think that's a coincidence.

anyway my new computer's coming Monday. Between the two dead ones I think I'll only have lost a wee bit since the working files are on external drives and also backed up.



On another front, Emma got a substitute zookeeper job and she's so happy she could cry.

And on yet another front, Truffle met a middle-aged yellow labrador named Henry who is cute and pudgy and thinks she is the bee's knees. He wanted to play and play and play with her. His person says he rarely puts anything like that much effort into playing. She likes him well enough, though not as much as "her" puppy.

And, reading: I finished The Song of Achilles and now I have Michael Chabon's Summerland and also Eleanor Arnason's A Woman of the Iron People. I chose these more or less at random at the library.
ritaxis: (hat)
Yesterday I read Touchstone by Melanie Rawn. I chose it at the library this way: I was having a hard time distinguishing the (very small) sea of titles and authors in their shiny library bindings. I saw The Golden Key and remembered that I liked it but lost interest because it went on and on forever and ever (note to myself: take note of this with regards to  not-Poland). I saw that there were other books by her. Touchstone wasn't a mountain-sized book and it didn't have dragons in it (I like dragons, but I have developed an allergy to dragon stories. I could probably explain that, but I also probably shouldn't). I liked it a lot. Even though I kept noticing things I thought were kind of sloppy in the world building and chafing at small details, I enjoyed it and I kept reading right till it was done. If I had been less lazy I could have exchanged it for the second book before the library closed at five. Supposedly the third book is out and the other books are written, so it's not a completely hopeless thing to be in love with.

There's ambiguous relationships which are apparently not resolved until late in the series, which is interesting. Also I like the way that brnaching possibilities are handled in the protagonist's kind-of clairvoyance.

It's set in generic late-medieval world with a jumble of sentient races each of which has their minor superpowers. Almost nobody in their country is pure anything. They spend a lot and a lot of time speculating on the mix of races that go into various people's ancestry so as to account for their looks and talents. This made me itch. The author's views, expressed quite forcefully through the characters, are all about the tolerance and the interdepence and the mutual appreciation, but it's still weird to have all this be so determined, and also to have the Dungeons and Dragons spectrum of races so neatly presented. The story has its strengths anyway.

The patriarchy is really quite miserable here: women aren't even allowed to go to the theater(but they do anyway, bless Melanie Rawn's heart). The theater tradition is four guys put on a magic show. One of them writes the "playlets" and fills up a selection of glass tubes with magic. Another manipulates these tubes to create illusions. A third one is the actor who plays all the parts, but there's usually only one or two characters. The fourth one modulates and directs the flow of the magic. So that's interesting. There's a lot of interesting business about glass craft, including a kind of anachronistic bit about lead in the glass which I was only too happy to give her slack on. There's just generally more awareness than average in fantasy books about how things are made and how work is done, and that's also nice. So I generally enjoyed the book and want more.

I also took out another Czech history book, The Coasts of Bohemia by Derek Sayer, but I don't think it's probably as interesting as the Demetz one. So I guess I'll be reading that one for a while. I was actually looking for a Polish history book but I found this first and my new rule is two books at a time because I am fighting the tendency to lose things.

On another front, on Tuesday I dribbled some money on the ground in front of the car, and Truffle targeted it with her nose before she got in. This is that thing dogs do to show you things they find meaningful. No, she wasn't telling me that money is good, she was saying she found something that smelled like me on the ground and maybe I shoujld look at it too?
ritaxis: (hat)
Our "likely rain" for tomorrow has been upgraded to "showers, with a chance of thunderstorms." Well, okay, it's not like we never have them, but thunderstorms are not really common around here. And also, it looks pretty wet from here until Monday.

On another front, Truffle and I met a mushroom hunter at the park. He's also the plumber who drives around the van with "425-CRAP" painted on it.

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